Syrian refugees top 200,000: UN



Syrian refugees top 200,000: UN Geneva: The United Nations on Friday said that the total number of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration topped 200,000 as the world body is striving for a political settlement to the 18-month crisis in the Middle East country.

"The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that the total number of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration has surpassed 200,000," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at a daily news briefing here. "The refugees are located in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq."

About 75,000 of the refugees are in Turkey, according to the spokesman.

More than 265,000 Syrians have fled their country's ongoing conflict since the political crisis broke out in March 2011 and 1. 2 million are internally displaced, according to an estimate of the United Nations.

The Chinese government will provide CNY 30 million (about USD 4.76 million) worth of emergency humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a press release in Beijing on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that his country cannot take more than 100,000 Syrian refugees and propose a UN buffer zone inside Syria to shelter them.

The UN Refugee Agency's operations in Syria continue working despite an escalation of military activity in Damascus, the capital of Syria, where staff movements are restricted, as is the ability of those who are displaced to reach the office.

"Hotlines continue to operate giving counselling to refugees who ask about relocation, food distribution, financial assistance, residency, registration and resettlement," the UN spokesman said.

"Relief items like hygiene kits and mattresses are being distributed to displaced people with the help of local partners," Nesirky said.

ANI